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Dexter Cattle: Mini Cows Are Perfect For Preppers and Small Homesteads

There is no better way to ensure the survival of the family in case of a SHTF scenario and to create a sustainable homestead than to grow and raise your own groceries. There are a plethora of traditional farm animals which can help keep the family well-fed year around or during a long-term disaster, but when both space and budget are limited, one stands out above many of the rest – Dexter cattle.

Dexter Cattle

Dexter cattle, or miniature cattle, are perhaps the best pound-for-pound value in the bovine realm. The mini cows are one of the smallest breeds of cattle and do not need as much room to roam – or pasture to feed them, as regular size cattle. Most Dexters are primarily black, but some versions of the miniature breed come in either a dun or red fur tone. They have beautiful white horns which are tipped in black once they reach adulthood.

The miniature cows and steers require about one half-acre of pasture per animal – or approximately 12 to 15 pounds of hay and a small supplement of grain as deemed necessary over the cold winter months. They are not picky eaters and can get by just fine on overgrown pastures or less-maintained pasture.

Dexter Cattle: Mini Cows Are Perfect For Preppers and Small Homesteads

Dexter cows and steer appear to be an extremely durable breed regardless of the climate where they roam. Miniature cow breeds now span the country and exist successfully about anywhere, including both Florida and Alaska. The mini cows are often seen wandering happily about their pasture even when the thermometer dips very low and a significant amount of snow is on the ground.

The miniature cows grow to just about 36 to 44 inches at the shoulder. The Dexter cattle breed boast a lean mean and rich milk. They are known to be a very gentle breed – and much easier to manipulate than their far larger, and sometimes hard-headed, peers.

The number of preppers and homesteading families which have embraced the miniature cattle concept in recent years has surged. The reasons Dexter cattle are become more popular goes far beyond budget constraints and space limitation issues.

The miniature cows produce about one to two gallons of milk per day. One cow produces enough milk to fulfill the needs of a typical family, without any going to waste or causing extra work to turn into a semi-shelf stable edible. Standard size cows, like a Holstein, produce around 10 gallons of milk each day. That’s a whole lot of milk to deal with and store if not participating in some type of herdshare agreement with others who either raw milk fans or prefer to pasteurize their own milk to avoid added hormones and other unnatural additives in commercially produced milk. Dexters have also been frequently and successfully used a “nurse cows” and provided milk for up to three calves in need to a surrogate mom.

Milk from the mini cows has a 4 percent butterfat milk when fed for production. At the height of a mini cow’s lactation period it has been known to produce up to 5 gallons of milk a day. Milk form a Dexter cow has also been heralded for how easy it is to digest. Because the fat globules in the milk are extremely small, it is less irritating on the stomach than milk from a standard-size cows. The cream from a mini cows’ milk has also been known to easily separate, making it a cooperative ingredient when making both ice cream and a very rich butter.

Dexter cows produce about 400 pounds of meat. Full-size cows or steers produce 600 to 800 pounds of beef. Mini cow breeders brag on not only the excellent flavor of their beef, but its juicy tenderness as well. Typically, grain-fed Dexter cattle will hit the 250 pound mark in only 12 months. A large Dexter cow or steer can weigh in at 500 pounds in 24 months. They dress at approximately 60 percent of their live weight.

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Dexter Cattle: Mini Cows Are Perfect For Preppers and Small Homesteads

Dexter Cattle: Mini Cows Are Perfect For Preppers and Small Homesteads

Feeding two mini cows or steers is typically less or the same as providing feed for one regular cow or steer – but the amount of pasture space required to properly house them still remains far less. If you have only the space of budget for one standard size cow and becomes ill or lost, the entire meat harvest has been lost. But, if two mini cows are purchased instead and one cow becomes ill and dies or has to be put down, the family will still have access to 400 pounds of beef to make it through tough times.

They might be small, but they are still mighty. Dexter cows are known to take to a yoke both quickly and easily. The miniature cows and steers appear eager to please, making them a great bovine to work with for both first time farmers, homesteaders, and newbie preppers. Their complaint personality make them great teachers for children in the family. Youngsters may be able to most safely learn how to care for, milk, and mange livestock, when working with the miniature cattle breed. Equally easily and safely, an elderly and even experienced member of the family can still help contributed to the daily workings of the prepper retreat or homestead by taking are of the Dexter cattle with far less fear of being injured or needing assistance than compared to handling standard-size cows and steers.

Dexter Cattle: Mini Cows Are Perfect For Preppers and Small Homesteads

Dexter Cattle: Mini Cows Are Perfect For Preppers and Small Homesteads

The mini cows most likely originated in Ireland and found their way to America in the early 20th Century. The one significant drawback with the Dexter breed is a genetic reproduction problem which appears to most often plague the smaller stature mini cows. Sometimes Dexter cows give birth to “bulldog” or stillborn calves with deformed faces.

Dexter cows commonly calve without any assistance from human hands. The need to glove up and use a calf puller is almost unheard of for miniature cow breeders. When their hooves hit the ground, Dexter calves weigh about 45 pounds. When they are weaned at around seven months, they typically weigh about 250 to 350 pounds. Both cows and steers continue to grow until they hit close to six years old. Some Dexters have continued to calve until they hit the ripe old age of 15 – and can live to be more than 20 years old.

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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?

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Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients



Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips



Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt



Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage



Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar



Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar



You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band



Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

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Self Sufficiency

9 SPRING VEGETABLES FOR YOUR GARDEN

Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!

Tomato

Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.

Eggplant

Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.

Beets

Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.

Spinach

Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.

Pea

Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.

Carrot

There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.

Radish

A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.

Asparagus

Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!

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